Therapy and mental health and wellness have always been vital, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, a spotlight has been shed on mental health and the importance of therapy. As a mental health specialist, I am incredibly appreciative of this newfound focus on mental health, particularly the resources that have been made available for individuals to attend to their mental wellness at home.

Linn Martinsen, a psychotherapist with eighteen years of experience in private practice, has played a big part in increasing the accessibility of therapy and mental health resources at home. She recently released her Therapy Toolkit — a…


Child mental health is so incredibly important, but it is now more vital than ever. Studies have shown that the mental health of our children has declined throughout the pandemic, and depression and anxiety are still on the rise. When I was a child, we never learned about mental health, and my various mental illnesses went undiagnosed until I entered adulthood. It was only when I suffered a nervous breakdown as an adult and was admitted to a behavioral health hospital that I received my diagnoses. At this time, I also began to work on and think about my mental…


September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month — a month that aims to bring awareness of the rising “epidemic” of obesity in today’s children. As an adult in recovery from multiple eating disorders that developed when I was a child due to stigma from said “childhood obesity,” I find this month incredibly concerning. There is a difference between wanting to teach children healthy practices that will improve their physical — and mental — wellbeing and highlighting something that is fatphobic and shaming. Fatphobia is harmful in so many ways, and unfortunately, it is hidden within National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.


and and either Schizophrenia schizoaffective disorder (a disorder characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia bipolar disorder or depression ) are complex disorders that have often been popularized in the media. Schizophrenia is frequently stereotyped as experiencing hallucinations and/or delusions, and other symptoms of the disorder are rarely touched upon.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia , one must exhibit two of the main core symptoms, but one of the symptoms must be hallucinating, experiencing delusions or disorganized speech. The second symptom must also be gross disorganization or diminished emotional expression. While these are the hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia , and they are…


Schizophrenia is a complex illness that can often be unpredictable and difficult to detect in yourself. However, there are warning signs that can be spotted before more severe symptoms begin, such as hallucinations and/or delusions. I have found I am more of a self-aware individual when it comes to detecting my symptoms now, but before I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder depressive type, it got to the point where I was admitted as an inpatient before I was able to receive help and find some relief.

Being taught to detect my symptoms as they appear helped me tremendously in focusing…


Addiction and substance abuse are severe and complex issues that affect a large majority of the population; however, there is a link between addiction and schizophrenia in particular that we need to discuss.

There is so much stigma surrounding addiction and substance abuse, but the reality of these conditions is they are often born from an individual’s attempt to self-medicate due to other mental health issues. With schizophrenia, addiction and substance abuse may develop as an individual’s attempt to manage symptoms linked to the illness, such as depression, anxiety, as well as the presence of the effects of past trauma


I have struggled with body image and eating concerns for the majority of my life. I barely remember a time when I didn’t have problems surrounding my body and food, and I have been clinically diagnosed with multiple eating disorders since 2007. Recently, I was in partial hospitalization for my eating disorders , followed by intensive outpatient and now, outpatient care. I still see my therapist twice a week for my various mental illnesses and I have phone check-ins with her multiple times a week. …

Ashley Nestler, MSW

I am a mental health specialist, book reviewer, author, and survivor of multiple mental illnesses. My mission is to help you feel validated and understood.

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